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The Spiritual QuestTranscendence  in Myth, Religion, and Science$
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Robert Torrance

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520081321

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520081321.001.0001

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Religion and the Spiritual Quest

Religion and the Spiritual Quest

From Closure to Openness

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter One Religion and the Spiritual Quest
Source:
The Spiritual Quest
Author(s):

Robert M. Torrance

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520081321.003.0001

This chapter argues that culture is very nearly a second nature, and that the most ordinary effort is all but certain not to miscarry. However, awareness of this process may set human beings self-consciously apart from a no longer “natural” world which they strive to regain or surpass; the concerted effort to overcome this apartness is a cardinal condition of the quest. The very term spiritual is an index of this separation; for distinction from the body places the unhoused spirit in a state of incompletion and need. Whether or not the process of self-transcendence has its inarticulate origin in the protoplasmic beginnings of life, evolution can be comprehended as lying in the nature of spirit, which owes its existence to the separation that it continually strives to overcome.

Keywords:   culture, human beings, natural world, separation, spirit, self-transcendence, life

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